qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

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Don't Mention the [Cold] War

I'm not a film buff (in verlaine's post of 100 films a month or two ago, I scored about 12%), so in eight years I had never been to the Reading Film Theatre, yet at the same time, I have a frustration that it can be very difficult to see any film that is not absolutely in the mainstream at either of the multiplexes the town has to offer.

Some months ago, I read a review of the award-winning Good Bye, Lenin! and thought this might be worth watching, and tonight, along with kharin, the opportunity arose. It fits definitely into the "bittersweet comedy" category, but without over-sentimentality. From the opening shots of the East German "socialist miracle" architecture of the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) and the Balast von der Republik (twinned with the Killingworth Township citadel, I am sure), I suspected awards were well-deserved, and that opinion was reinforced throughout the film, with a curious combination of farce (in places positively Airplane!-style), cynicism and realism, and excellently framed with landmarks (physical and metaphorical). The English subtitles were also extremely effective in capturing the mood of the dialogue (to be fair, this was probably a given as much of the film is narrated by one of the characters, which may make the translation easier).

Having visited Berlin for a holiday in 2002 and with the intent to return in a few years time (when more reconstruction should have been completed) probably assisted my enjoyment of the film, though I think it would appeal to anyone with an interest in the end of the Cold War and a suitably cynical sense of humour, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to see it.
Tags: film
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